I'll be staying near Central Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan!
I’ll be staying near Central Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan!

By Claire

Tomorrow, I’m off to New York! It will be my first time to the USA and I’m so excited!!

I’m heading over to NASA GISS in NY to collaborate with world-class scientists in palaeoclimate modelling. I’ll be in NY for two months, running a palaeoclimate model and testing some ideas that have come out of my PhD.

My PhD consists of two distinct sections. I have spent the last two years producing a proxy record for Indo-Australian Monsoonal rainfall, using stalagmites collected from Indonesia. Now that I have a record spanning the last 40,000 years, I need to work out what it means! And to do that, I’ll be modelling (using a climate model).

NASA GISS has a well known climate model (well known in climate model circles anyway), called the GISS ModelE. Without going into too much detail, the ModelE is basically an atmosphere and ocean coupled model that can be used to test the dynamics of the climate system.

Modelling can actually be relatively easy. Basically, in order to test the effect that something has on climate (lets use CO2 as an example), all you need to do is change that one thing in the model, and see what happens. Everything else is kept the same so that you can see what effect that one variable, CO2, has on climate. You also need a “control” run, where everything is kept the same. That way you have something to test your CO2 change against.

For anything thinking of doing a PhD, DO IT! Opportunities like this to head to New York and work with scientists at NASA GISS really are once in a lifetime. Not only do I get to collaborate with amazing scientists, I get an all expenses paid trip to New York!

I’ll keep you updated with my progress and lots of pics from my adventures.

Any tips for a first time visitor to New York?